A regular feature on Ravens Insider this season will be the weekly Q&A with Ravens Insider/Carroll County Times writer Aaron Wilson. This is where members of the RavensInsider message board get to ask pertinent questions about our Baltimore Ravens and Aaron gets to provides the correct answers.
your opinion, how many games will Boller play before they have to land a
Medivac on the field and airlift him to shock-trauma?
Seriously: For those of us who are not adept at catching all the little
stuff during the game; how much of Boller getting clobbered on every other
snap was due to the o-line being horrible, or Boller not calling appropriate
protections, or the RB's not picking up blitzers?
Answer: Kyle Boller is a sturdy
young quarterback, but he absolutely can't continue to absorb those big
shots every week and hope to make it through the entire season. Identifying
the exact nuance of where the pass protection is breaking down is
complicated. In the latest game, Ravens coach Brian Billick said a lot of
the problem is the backs. He specifically without naming Chester Taylor
noted that he pushed an offensive lineman out of the way inadvertently on
the play where Boller's pass was tipped and intercepted. Boller has admitted
that he has not gone to his "hot" route quickly or often enough, not using
his safety valves. The offensive line at times has just been flat or
inadequate. They are highly motivated to protect their quarterback. Perhaps
some of the players aren't quick enough or the timing is off. I think the
offense misses fullback Alan Ricard's pass blocking. He was excellent at
picking up blitzes. It's a major problem and the No. 1 point of emphasis for
the team other than Boller making better reads and getting starters Jamal Lewis, Todd Heap and Peter Boulware ready for the opener after not playing
this entire month.
I'm seriously concerned about the danger to Kyle and whomever comes in for
him. Are there any 'upgrades' out there available at this point?
My real question: is the horrendous pass protection the reason we haven't
seen Anderson out there? I was thinking maybe they don't dare put a rookie
behind center in a live game.
Answer: There are no upgrades on the street that could help. You could make
an argument for Ross Verba, but his attitude is pretty high and mighty, a
rare prima-donna party animal blocker. I think they would pass. The reason
why Derek Anderson hasn't been playing is he blew it essentially. He was
given a chance against the Falcons and he blew it. If Kyle Boller or Anthony Wright get hurt, they would sign another quarterback, a veteran. If they
would risk Boller and Wright, why not risk Anderson. Prediction: He takes a
lot of lumps Thursday against the Redskins to preserve Boller and Wright.
from your observation of the Raven's receivers what do you think of the
battle between Mark Clayton and Clarence Moore? How many wideouts do you
think we'll carry this year? And finally, will Todd Heap be back on the
field against the 'skins this coming week? Thank you very much.
Answer: I think Mark Clayton could
eventually overtake Clarence Moore. I think you'll carry exactly five wide
receivers on the active roster. Todd Heap is expected to play a few snaps
against the Redskins.
(thanks in advance)
I'm seeing 'shades of years gone by' meaning our receivers (WRs & TEs)
running routes 2-3 yards short of the first down marker and coming up short
of the first down!
Is this a result of the design of the routes, poor execution of the route
running or KB was just so rushed he had to throw the ball early?
Answer: The routes are accelerated
because of the pressure. I have noticed the receivers bunching up too much
and maybe not stemming their routes properly to create maximum separation. A
little decent play-action wouldn't hurt from the quarterback, either.
Aaron, any possibility of going back to 2 TE's. That may give Boller more
protection. If the defense plays 8 man fronts, we should have Mason and
Moore or Clayton 1 on 1? If not, how are we going to address this horribly
pathetic offensive line?
Answer: The so-called "U" formation could make a return. A blocking tight
end like Terry Jones' presence could give Boller some more time.
Aaron-- are the ravens prepared to go with AW if Boller needs a benching or
will they look into bringing in a veteran QB?
specifically, will the ravens look at bringing Tim
Couch or maybe another VET QB to Baltimore?
Answer: Anthony Wright is the top option if Boller falters or gets hurt. I
doubt they bring in a veteran unless there's an injury. They still have
Kordell Stewart's phone number, so he could be an alternative.
Question: How concerned is the coaching staff with
Boller's apparent regression in mechanics and decision-making displayed
during the past three games?
Will we see the offense return to emphasizing the run once the regular
season begins and Jamal is ready to return to the field?
Answer: They're very concerned, but
hopeful that he'll play better with improved pass protection. At this point,
the offense will likely be very run-heavy until or if this pass blocking
crisis is over.
it has been reported by the Sun's Mike Preston and Chris Mortenson that
Jamal Lewis didn't play on Friday due to protest over a potential Franchise
Tag. To your knowledge, is this true at all? Also do you see Devard Darling
making the squad? Is there a reason for his lack of PT this preseason?
for doing this. It is greatly appreciated.
Answer: I don't know if Jamal
Lewis didn't play because he's protesting the franchise tag that the
organization might place on him after the season. I do know he doesn't act
like he wants to play in the preseason until he's absolutely healthy. I
doubt it's completely money-related and is more just wanting to be
completely healthy. We've yet to see the organization deny the story, so who
knows if it's true or not. I do think he's headed for the franchise tag, not
an extension. I've done a few roster projections and it's between Devard
Darling, Mike Smith and a kickoff specialist (Wade Richey?) to be named for
the final couple spots.
Todd Heap ever play again?
Answer: Yes, his career isn't over.
They are just being careful with him after ankle and shoulder surgeries.
Honestly, the Ravens spent $30 million on Todd Heap. Why would they do that
if they didn't think he would ever play again?
does Boulware look? Will he play any against the Redskins this week?
Answer: We haven't seen Boulware do
much other than individual drills. He seems to be fine. The plan is for him
to play in nickel situations in the first half. That could mean five to six
snaps Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium for Boulware, his first game action since
December 2003 when he hurt his knee.
thank you as always!
In the past, we have had that un-drafted rookie that surprises everyone,
B.J. Sams, Will Demps. Who will it be this year, or will there be anyone at
Answer: I think Zach Norton has a
shot to make the team. He's a first-year player, but technically a rookie in
my book since he didn't play all last year because of a shoulder injury.
Don't rule out B.J. Ward for the practice squad.
preseason I've heard it mentioned that teams are blitzing or rushing the
Ravens more and more right up the middle instead of off the edge.
Is this because other teams perceive that we have weaknesses at the interior
Will the Ravens be moving Boller around in the pocket more to attack this?
Should Boller be taking off and using his running ability more often? And
kind of related to that question: Are the coaches forcing him to stay in the
pocket because he seemed to take off and run too much last year?
Answer: Center Mike Flynn isn't as
mobile as Casey Rabach and teams have shot gaps against him. Keydrick Vincent is getting accustomed to the Ravens' system, and Edwin Mulitalo has
been out while dealing with his father's death. Brian Rimpf has struggled at
times in Mulitalo's place. They have yet to unveil any plans for increased
rollouts. Boller should learn to duck and run more often. He also needs to
slide when it's time to get down to avoid hits.
I haven't heard anything about Samari Rolle being officially suspended yet,
is there a chance that he may not be suspended or maybe suspended later in
Answer: The NFL is likely to
announce a suspension before the Indianapolis game. Samari Rolle said today
that he's still waiting to hear from the league. He has a lawyer to help him
with this along with the Ravens' counsel. It's likely he will be suspended
for the first game judging from how the NFL handled Brad Hopkins' recent
domestic violence plea bargain and one-game suspension. There's precedent
and they typically stick with it. There don't seem to be extenuating
circumstances that could shift the case in Rolle's favor unless his lawyer
has a compelling argument we haven't heard.
Do you see Dwan Edwards fitting in with the D-line year? He got a coverage
sack against the Saints but I haven't seen much of him besides that.
Answer: Rex Ryan has been really
upbeat about Dwan Edwards' showing since the Philadelphia game. He said he's
running well to the football and in much better shape. I see him as an
unspectacular, solid rotation guy who still has some upside, but will
probably never emerge as an impact player. They could have probably drafted
him in the third or fourth round last year.
Question: How is Dan Cody doing?
Answer: He's off crutches and
likely headed for surgery. I see injured reserve in his future. I doubt
putting him on the physically unable to perform list to begin the season
will translate into him playing this year.
Answer: I think Jason Brown will
wind up winning out. He's a fourth-round pick and has a lot of promise.
Don't count this kid out. He's going to be a player in this league.
Question: Thanks Although the Ravens secondary has
been highly touted as the most dominant in the league by many pundits, it
appears right off the bat that injuries could cause some major problems. How
severe are the recent injuries to Samari Rolle, Deion Sanders and Dale Carter, and do you see these injuries as becoming a nagging problem for the
Ravens defense this season? And if so, how much will this effect the team's
Answer: Samari Rolle's knee injury
isn't serious enough that he couldn't play against Indianapolis. What could
hold him out is a suspension from the league obviously. Deion Sanders'
hamstring injury is minor, but really at 38 there's no minor injuries. The
same goes for Dale Carter (back spasms). At some point, depth at cornerback
is going to be a problem. It's inevitable and unavoidable at this point.
Aaron Wilson is the chief writer for RavensInsider.Com He is also the
Ravens' reporter for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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